Since 1974, the World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on the 5th of June. In 2020, under probably the most unusual circumstances in the history of this global day, the theme is biodiversity. This year, it became clearer than ever, that we face global threats, threats that don’t have national borders. We have done our best to lie to ourselves that the human existence can somehow be separate from the natural world, that humanity is ultimately immune to any threat. However, recent events, such as forest fires raging across the world, decreasing abundance of species, locust infestiations and finally, a global epidemic has finally destroyed the illusion that we are in control.
Please also read: Nature is continuously under pressure from infodemics
Vulnerability vs. resilience
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we have suddenly been made aware of our individual as well as collective vulnerability. We experienced that we need the combination of both governmental policy and radical behavioural changes to combat global issues. We have seen that if emergency is declared and taken seriously, governments are able to make quick and radical decisions for the objective of preserving life, even if that comes at the expense of economic growth. We have witnessed that it is possible for bottom-up initiatives coming from the civil society, to be recognised by corporates and governments. We have been shown by the corona pandemic something, that is just as true for climate change: we are only as safe as the most vulnerable in our society.
World Environment Day – noticing nature like never before
We cannot further ignore global issues. While we are doing our best to find an end to this pandemic, our climate as we have known it has already changed forever. We are at a stage where no matter what we do, our society will likely be tested over and over again. It is, therefore, time for nature. As we self-isolate there has never been a better time to reflect on what nature means to us. How can we bring nature back to our cities, protect our last Wilderness and rewild our world?
Every year, the World Environment Day is hosted by a different country, where the official celebrations are organised. This year’s host is Colombia in partnership with Germany. However, this year, millions of people worldwide are organising various events digitally. One example is the Act #ForNature Global Online Forum organised between 7-10th June, with the extensive agenda that covers healthy ecosystems, nature and business, marine plastics, and global food systems. You can register for the sessions you are most interested in participating.
How do you protect and preserve nature?
We are interested in your opinion! Tell us why it is time for nature and what you are doing to preserve it.